Acute Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) by Richard Zhen Lu, M.D.

 



Within the past several weeks, we have noticed increased number of patients coming to our clinic with acute gastroenteritis, which is also commonly known as “stomach flu” or “stomach bug”. Some of the most common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, generalized weakness and stomach pain. Acute gastroenteritis is especially common among children, though it is certainly possible for adults to suffer from it as well. While most cases of gastroenteritis last a few days, acute gastroenteritis can last for weeks and months if the underlying causes are not treated properly.

Bacteria and viruses remain the top two likely causes of acute gastroenteritis. There are other pathogens, such as parasites, that can cause acute gastroenteritis, but not typically seen within the US. If you have recently traveled outside the US, you should definitely disclose the relevant information to your doctor.

The initial treatment for acute gastroenteritis is always FLUID, FLUID and more FLUID. With the frequent diarrhea, you can lose a lot of fluid, and result in dehydration, which is especially true for children. When you do not improve from stomach flu symptoms within two to three days from the onset of symptoms, it is a good idea to check in with your doctor. Some types of acute gastroenteritis may not resolve without antibiotic treatment, especially when bacteria or exposure to parasites are the cause. The diagnosis of the specific cause for the acute gastroenteritis is typically made via the analysis of analyzing a stool sample.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Health Tips for the Elderly by K. Verdugo

We are living longer and we need to keep ourselves in good health physically and mentally as we age.  Marque Urgent Care takes pride in providing care to patients of all ages and especially the elderly community.  Here are some tips for the older generation to stay happy and healthy:

Balanced Diet

Following a healthy lifestyle is important at every age and the usual rules also apply to the elderly.  A balanced diet with lots of protein, fresh fruit and vegetables (especially for fiber and vitamins) is important for the following reasons:

  • Maintaining muscle and bone strength.

  • Keeping a healthy immune system.

  • Normal bowel activity.

  • Many other body functions that can deteriorate as the years go by.


Vitamins and Minerals

The benefits of taking vitamin and mineral supplements are controversial. If your diet isn’t great, a general multivitamin every day is a good consideration. There are plenty of other supplements you can try (depending on what you perceive your health issues to be).  For instance, zinc has research-based evidence concluding that it may reduce the length of cold symptoms and it also can help improve wound healing.  Always consult with a physician first if you have pre-existing medical conditions before taking mineral supplements.

Staying Mobile as You Age

Keeping mobile is a key aspect of staying healthy as a person ages; and daily exercise is essential. The longer you’re able to get yourself up and about with ease, whether to get out and socialize or even just to move about your home, the longer you’re likely to remain independent and well.  Any exercise which gets you up on your feet while bearing the weight of your own body will help to keep the muscles active, bones strong, and maintain core strength and balance.  Join an exercise group for older people in your local gym if you need ideas or guidance.

Falling

Elderly people are more susceptible to falling.  The greatest risk is a broken bone. Working on muscle strength and balance can help reduce the risk of falls. Other strategies to mitigate the chance of falling at home include the following: remove items that could cause tripping (such as loose carpets), put in rails, and adapt and secure furniture.

Preventing Infections

After our late 50s, the risk of infections rise rapidly because the normal balance of activity in the immune system is lost. Fewer and fewer cells are available to recognize and fight new infections.  As a result, it becomes vital to avoid infections if possible, or get treatment swiftly when they do occur. Steer clear of people with flu, colds, or stomach upsets.  Wash your hands regularly to reduce the chances of picking up micro-organisms through contact.  Make sure that any food you eat has been cooked thoroughly. If you’re prone to urinary tract infections try to drink plenty of fluids to keep the urinary tract flushed through.

Vaccinations

We‘re all familiar with the importance of childhood vaccinations but there's a new move now to look at vaccinating people throughout their life.  For example, by increasing the use of vaccination with older age groups can prevent problems such as pneumonia or shingles. Marque Urgent Care can tell you more about which vaccines are available for the older age group in addition to any other age ranging from babies to young adults.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

 

 

Urinary Tract Infections by Nathan Kiskila, MD



Questions?  We are here for you! 1-877-MY DOC NOW (1-877-693-6266)

Save time, book your appointment online HERE

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common cause of urgent care visits throughout this country. 10% of women over 18 years of age report at least one suspected UTI every 12 months. These are infections anywhere along the urine tract and can be acute or recurrent.  There are three different types of UTIs: infection in the urethra, bladder infection, and kidney infection.

Escherichia coli (E.coli bacteria) is the most common organism in uncomplicated infections.  The most common route of infection in females is when bacteria travels up the urethra and attaches to the inner lining of the bladder. Holding your urine impairs the defense against infection provided by bladder emptying, hence a common cause of UTI.  Cranberry juice thins the inner lining of the bladder wall so it is helpful in preventing UTIs, but cranberry juice alone or pills cannot cure bladder infections.

Bladder infections commonly present symptoms such as urine frequency or urgency, burning pain with urination, blood in the urine, and/or bladder pressure (suprapubic pressure).  Bladder infections are commonly bacterial and can be diagnosed with a urinalysis and/or a urine lab test (urine culture).  Bladder infections are treated with oral antibiotics.  Kidney infections have symptoms such as lower back/flank pain and fever. 

Kidney infections can be very dangerous.  Kidneys are vital organs and if they get infected, the body can go into shock.  Kidney infections are more complex and treatment may require antibiotic shots or IV antibiotics in the hospital.  If you think you may have a UTI, it is better to seek medical attention sooner than later since bladder infections may progress to kidney infections.

Questions?  We are here for you! 1-877-MY DOC NOW (1-877-693-6266)

Save time, book your appointment online HERE

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preventing Scalding Burns by D. M.

Of the many types of burns that can happen in your home, burns which are due to hot liquids or gasses, otherwise known as scalds, may be the most difficult to prevent. Thousands of people are injured each year by hot liquids and many of them are young children, due to accidents. Here are some simple precautions can protect you and your family from scalding burns:

  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees.

  • Always test bath water before placing a child in the tub.

  • Never leave a child unattended in the bathtub.

  • Turn pot handles toward the back or center of the stove so children cannot tip pots over.

  • Never warm baby bottles in the microwave; they may heat unevenly and can burn your baby’s mouth.

  • Use caution when opening items such as microwave popcorn bags, food items, etc…

  • Leave lids on containers loose or ajar (not sealed) when microwaving items.

  • Use mugs or coffee cups with lids when you are around children.

  • Keep hot liquids like soup, coffee, or tea away from the edge of counters and tables.


 

What to do if you are burned:

  • Immediately place burned body part in cool water.

  • Do not place ice on the burn.

  • Do not apply lotions, ointments, or any other topical applications on the burn.

  • Change cool water frequently and keep submerged for thirty to ninety minutes until all burning sensation has ceased. This may prevent blistering and scarring by removing all heat.

  • If burned area is larger than the size of a quarter, on a sensitive area, or on the face, see your doctor immediately.


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

 

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by Michelle Muse

We are committed to your health and safety.  Our Marque Urgent Care team is always up-to-date on the latest CPR techniques.  CPR is a life-saving technique that helps maintain some blood flow to the brain and heart, and can help "buy time" until the patient receives more advanced care. Every member of our team is CPR certified and fully prepared for an emergency.

Did you know that the guidelines from the American Heart Association often change slightly?  As a result, we are always learning new information.  For instance, they no longer recommend following A-B-C (Airway, Breathing, Circulation).  Instead, it has changed to C-A-B (Chest Compressions, Airway, Breathing).  Studies indicate that the sooner chest compressions are given, the better the chance of resuscitation.

The Importance of Knowing CPR

Would you know what to do if your child went into cardiac arrest?  Calling 911 should always be the first step.  However, before the medical professionals arrive, immediately performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will greatly increase his chance for survival.  In fact, a recent study by the National Institutes of Health shows CPR to be effective in children and adolescents who suffer from non-traumatic cardiac arrest due to drowning, electrocution, or choking.

When an individual suffers an out-of-hospital heart attack, his survival depends greatly on receiving immediate CPR from a bystander.  However, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), less than one-third of these individuals receive the help they need.  Unfortunately, most bystanders are untrained in CPR and are afraid they will do something wrong.  The American College of Cardiology provides a comprehensive fact sheet on the basics of CPR and instructions for administering compressions for trained and untrained people.   I encourage you to learn how to correctly perform CPR.  You really can save a life!  There are many websites to educate yourself on CPR.

www.cprlifeline.com

www.beach.orangecounty.com

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

Necrotizing Fasciitis by Dorcas M. Eaves, M.D.

Part 1: What is this Disease?


Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection that starts in the tissues just below the skin and spreads along the flat layers of tissue (known as fascia) that separate different layers of soft tissue, such as muscle and fat. For the general populace, Necrotizing Fasciitis is best known by the moniker “flesh-eating bacteria” a term coined by the news media.

This dangerous infection is most common in the arms, legs, and abdominal wall and is fatal in 30%-40% of cases. The bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis can be passed from person to person through close contact, such as touching the wound of the infected person. However, this is a rare event unless the person who is exposed to the bacteria has an open wound, chickenpox, or an impaired immune system.

Necrotizing fasciitis is not a new disease. One of the first references to the disease was recorded in 1871 by Dr. Joseph Jones an Army Surgeon, who studied more than 2,600 cases of the disease he observed during the American Civil War. Throughout history, some of the worst outbreaks of this condition have occurred in war-torn areas, as well as in military hospitals.

Fournier's gangrene is the term used when the condition affects the genitals. Jean-Alfred Fournier, a Parisian doctor, became the pre-eminent person attached to this condition after delivering a lecture on the subject in 1883. He noted that diabetic patients might have a higher risk of developing this disease.

By 1918, it was thought that this condition was likely caused by a bacterium of some sort. This was proven in 1920 when U.S. surgeon Frank L. Meleney published a paper on the topic. In his paper, he asserted that 20 patients he examined in China were afflicted with necrotizing fasciitis caused by hemolytic streptococcus.

In 1952, Dr. B. Wilson first used the term "necrotizing fasciitis." This term is the one still used in modern medicine, and is generally considered to be the most accurate and concise description. Other terms used to describe this condition include streptococcal gangrene, hospital gangrene, necrotizing erysipelas, and suppurative fasciitis.

Necrotizing fasciitis may be caused by an infection with one or more than one bacterium. In most cases, the term flesh-eating bacteria have been applied to describe infections caused by Streptococcus Pyogenes. The term flesh-eating has been used because the bacterial infection produces toxins that destroy tissues such as muscles, skin, and fat. Streptococcus Pyogenes is a member of group A streptococci, a group of bacteria that are responsible for mild cases of sore throat (pharyngitis) and skin infections, as well as rare, severe illnesses such as toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Most infections with group A streptococci result in mild illness and may not even produce symptoms.

Other organisms may rarely cause necrotizing fasciitis, but when they do, the resulting infections are often difficult to treat successfully. Aeromonas hydrophila (a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium) has recently been the source of this disease in a 24-year-old who cut her thigh in a homemade zip line accident in the U.S. The organism established itself and caused the otherwise healthy young woman to have her leg amputated, and she may suffer further complications over time. Although Aeromonas hydrophila is usually associated with warm brackish water and causes infections in fish and amphibians, gastroenteritis is the disease it causes most often in humans when the water sources are swallowed. Because it is often resistant to multiple antibiotics, it is difficult to eradicate if it infects human tissues. In addition, once it infects tissues, its enzymes and toxins allow a rapid entrance of the organisms to the bloodstream, causing sepsis and infection of other body organs.

References:

Necrotizing Fasciitis C.P. Davis, MD, PhD medicinenet.com; M.C. Stoppler, MD medicinenet.com

Necrotizing Fasciitis, WebMD.com/a-to-z-guides

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

 

Flu or Cold? by Richard Lu, M.D.



The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense.  Recovery from the flu can range from a few days to several weeks.  There are special tests that can be done within the first few days of illness, when needed to tell if a person has the flu. 
 
Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. 

Just a friendly reminder, do not forget your flu shot this year!
 
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) cdcinfo@cdc.gov

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 

 

The Flu by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.

The flu season is unpredictable and can start as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. The flu is a virus in the nose, throat and lungs. The flu is stronger than a common cold and comes on very quickly. Chills, fever, headache, sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, body aches, muscle aches, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms. The flu usually resolves in a few days.  Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever can be helpful for symptom relief in addition to drinking clear fluids, and getting plenty of rest.

Sometimes the flu can precipitate infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and dehydration which may require medical treatment. The flu can be worse in young or older people, and also those with other medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes. The flu is contagious so stay away from others, wash your hands often, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and get enough rest. Sometimes a medicine called Tamiflu (prescribed by a healthcare professional) can help shorten the duration of symptoms. If you want to be tested for the flu, see your doctor.

Who should get the flu shot?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone older than 6 months should get the vaccination.  It is advised to get it as soon as it becomes available.  After receiving the shot, it will take approximately 2 weeks to become fully protected.  Protection will last for about a year.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 
woman with headache rubbing her head

Migraines and Headaches by Your Marque Team

 

What causes headaches?  Headache pain results from signals interacting between the brain, blood vessels and surrounding nerves.  During a headache, specific nerves of the blood vessels and head muscles are activated and send pain signals to the brain.

Headaches can occur suddenly due to an illness, infection, cold, or fever.  Other conditions that can cause an acute headache include sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), pharyngitis (sore throat), or otitis (ear infection or inflammation)

Sometimes, a headache can be the result of a blow to the head (trauma) which can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

They can also be triggered by specific environmental factors in a family’s household, such as secondhand tobacco smoke, strong odors, chemicals, perfumes, eating certain foods, or exposure to certain allergens.  Stress, pollution, noise, lighting and weather changes are other environmental factors that can trigger headaches for some people too.
Different Types of Headaches

 



    • Tension headaches:   These are the most common headache.  Also known as chronic daily headaches or chronic non-progressive headaches.  They consist of muscle contraction that cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a prolonged period of time.




 



    • Migraines:  The exact cause of migraines is unknown.  A popular theory is that various triggers cause abnormal brain activity, which in turn causes changes in the blood vessels in the brain.  Genetics can play a role as well.  Migraine pain is moderate to severe and often is described as pounding, throbbing pain.  They can last from hours to days and can occur one to four times a month.  Migraines are also associated with symptoms such as sensitivity to light, noise, or odors, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach upset or abdominal pain.




 



    • Cluster headaches:  These are the least common headaches.  Although they are the most severe type of primary headache.  It is described as pain with a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant.  The pain is so severe that most cluster headache sufferers cannot sit still and will often pace during an attack.  The pain is usually located behind one eye or in the eye region.  The term “cluster” refers to the amount of times per day the headache occurs.  It usually happens one to three times per day during a cluster period which may last two weeks to a few months.  Then they go into remission for months or years only to recur.




 



    • Sinus headaches:   Sinus headaches usually happen in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose.  The pain usually is intensified with sudden head movement or straining and usually occurs with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling fullness in the ears, fever and facial swelling.




 



    • Hormone headaches:  Headaches in women are often associated with changing hormone levels that occur during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.  Birth control pills can also trigger headaches in some women.




 

Evaluating and Treating Headaches

If you are having headache symptoms, the first step is to go see your doctor.  He or she will perform a complete physical exam and a headache evaluation.  During a headache evaluation, your headache history and description of the headaches will be evaluated.   It is a good idea to keep a list of things that cause the headache and what aggravates the headache for the physician.  You should also tell him or her what treatments you have tried to alleviate your headache and what has worked and not worked for you.  Keeping a headache diary can help your doctor diagnose your headache type.  Sometimes a headache evaluation may include a CT scan or MRI.  Fortunately, for most headache sufferers, special diagnostic tests are not necessary.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.